Monday, 1st January 2018
I started the New Year together with my relatives in Stockholm, Sweden. My youngest grandchild slept at the start of the new year. The little older one and we adults were watching the fireworks of our neighbours. We think it is not worth to spend a lot of money on fireworks as well as it is not good for the environment. Anyway, when others have fireworks we love to see it. By the way we had a glass of Prosecco to welcome the New Year. I called my other children, but I only reached the answering machine of all of them. My daughter was calling me back later. She and her boyfriend had been outside and watched the fireworks of the community. She did make a video, though she could not answer me. My other children did not call back. I actually did also call my girlfriend in Vienna, but she did not answer either. We were going to sleep between 1am and 2am looking forward the upcoming morning. We used the time in between for some dancing. My son and my daughter in law were surprised about my style. It is close to theirs.
We had a late breakfast of course and was thinking to take a walk. Unfortunately it started raining. Therefore my son and my youngest grandchild were accompanying me to the bus stop only. It was the first time I needed to go by bus to the underground station. Before my son has been driving me.
It took really long time to go home by bus and underground and bus again. The time limit of one ride was not enough for it. Actually I had to wait twice for ten minutes for the underground and at the end 15 minutes for the bus, even I took the first bus home, which did not really go to my bus stop. At that bus stop there is a supermarket, which was open, when I arrived. I bought the first and only holidays sweet – a big box of “after eight”.
At home I had to take my penicillin (I was actually already a little late) and had to wait for, that time goes by and I could have a meal, which was rice and sausage “Stroganoff” as well as sweet corn. I did not have fresh vegetables at home. The waiting time and the evening I used the Internet again, but I was not blogging this time. In the afternoon my girlfriend from Vienna was calling me, but I was not fast enough to answer it. Though I called her back. We had a nice 7-min. long chat. Both of us really enjoyed it.
By the way I will not have tabs for each month this year under “Sweden 2018”, because I will not be at home so much. The second part of my “travel around the world” will start on 12th January this year. My first destination will be Mexico.
Tuesday, 2nd January 2018
I have had the alarm clock ringing because of my appointment at the mammography screening. I have not had any for more than 10 years and was happy I have got this opportunity. I left home after my last pill of penicillin and breakfast at 9am and was in very good time at the hospital, where the screening was made. It was more hurting, than I remembered, but if they will find something, it is worth it. If they will not find anything it was worth it, too – for being sure all is OK is wonderful.
After the torture ;.) I had a couple of things to shop, though I was going further by the underground and bought a repellent against insects. I decided to buy the “jungle oil” (Djungel olja). I checked that it contains the important ingredients against the malaria fly. I did not take a big pack, because I am sure, I can buy more of this stuff in Mexico. Well paying for this repellent, I asked the cashier to unsubscribe me from the magazine, which comes four times a year. The cashier did change the settings and I hope all will be fine.
One of the very useful things I will take with me is a headlight, but it is only useful if the batteries are working. Though I bought new batteries for it and was going back home by underground and bus. At the underground station I charged my public transport card. This time I made it home by one fee, but it was close.
I did check for “Ekerö bostäder” on Internet, because I had seen, they built lots of new apartments in our little city and there was a sign, that they belong to Ekerö bostäder. I found out, that I, who is living in Ekerö, have a little better chance to get an apartment, than people, who are not living in Ekerö. I tried to register on the homepage, but it was not working. There were more than two pages to fill in, but the link to page no three did not work. Though I found there email address and wrote to them. I also explained my situation. The answer was as usual. There is a queue and one has to follow the rules for the queue. There is no earlier possibility to get an apartment because of my circumstances. Please do not understand me wrong, but the lack of water in the kitchen corner and the need to wash my dishes in the bathroom is a little disgusting. When I rented that room, I did not think it will be so annoying for me. Furthermore I cannot make my laundry without asking my landlady to open her door. It does not feel good to use my landlady’s machines either – it is just for they are in her apartment. I feel a little bitter from time to time about my situation regarding to my accommodation. I did save the Swedish community so much money, that I did not continue to be unemployed and was going to earn my money in other countries and I do not get any help to get an own apartment, which is worth its name. Fortunately I will travel again. Otherwise my frustration would be worse.
In the late afternoon and evening I did update my blog and transfer the text from Canada to this one.
Wednesday, 3rd January 2018
This day I had to go up really early (for my feelings). I was up at 7pm and dressed at 8:30. 5 minutes later I was going to my closest bus stop, but the bus had already gone. Though I went to the next bus stop, because there are buses from more routes stopping. Anyway I was two minutes late at my destination, the Ekerö polyclinics. I met a female doctor I never had met before, because I only have been here once so far and that was around a year ago. I was surprised that she did shake hands with me. Nonetheless she asked me a lot of questions about my health and was really interested in to help me – she was serious at all points. Finally I have got a new prescription for thyroid medicine and pills for my stomach as well. Blood for a big blood check was taken in the room next door as well. Luckily I had neither eaten anything this morning nor taken min medicin. She also sent me for x-ray of my lounges. In addition she told me, if I have not problems with my lounges my breathlessness, when I have to climb, may belong to my heart. In that case a datortomografi would be necessary, but it would not be easy to get that done before 12th January (the day of my flight to Mexico).
Afterwards I was directly to a pharmacy, but they did not have my thyroid medicine. We were talking about to get another prescription with a higher dos – where I could cut the pills, but I first went to a coffee shop nearby (after having sent a little parcel to my son in Malmö) and had a sandwich with a coffee. I had time to think about, what to do, because I had to go to another little city of “Greater Stockholm” for the x-ray. I decided to try to get my medicine there, too – if there will be a pharmacy close, too. The x-ray was fast done and on my way back to the underground I also passed a pharmacy, though I was asking there for the thyroid medicine. Even here they did not have it and as I was told, the factory had run out of it. I asked for the same medicine of another make, because in other countries I have got other makes, just the active substance was the same. The pharmacist told me, there is no other make in Sweden. I told her, I will try it in the city of Stockholm. Maybe you can imagine my thoughts on my way to the city centre. If there only is one factory offering a medicine lots of people can get very sick or even die, when the factory cannot or will not provide the medicine as well as they can make the price. In Sweden one usual gets the cheapest medicine of its kind as long as the active substance is the same, but in this case they do not care about to have different makes.
Leaving the underground in the city center I nearly run into a pharmacy, though I started with that one. My medicine was not available either, but the pharmacist checked by the computer, which Pharmacy around may have it. She found some and asked me to call the one, which was closest. When I talked with that pharmacist on the phone she confirmed, that they have two boxes (I only need one) and took my Swedish personal number for saving one box for me. Around 15 minutes later I entered the pharmacy I called. The box with the thyroid medicine was already labeled for me – also a think I like so much in Sweden: Medicine you get by a prescription are always labeled with your full name, your Swedish personal number and how often/when you have to take the medicine. I told the pharmacist, that I have another medicine on my prescription and that I would like to have that, too. She checked it by the computer (all our prescriptions are only digital – almost in Greater Stockholm, maybe in all of Sweden. The system started some years ago.) and I could go home with both of my medicines.
On my way home I left the bus two stops earlier than usual and was going to a private dentist for asking for an appointment. He has a homepage, where he states, that he takes new patients. It was closed at the dentist, but on his signs he also has his phone number. I noticed it, because the one from the homepage was not working and walked home. In the afternoon I called for an appointment and have been told, that the homepage is not updated. They do not take new customers anymore. I told them, that the important thing is, that the tooth has to be pulled out. For the rest it is no hurry. I also told them, that I asked at the public dentist before and they also had declined. The assistant told me, she will have a look in the diary and told me than, that I am lucky. The dentist has got a cancellation, though I am welcome 10th Jan, 1:15pm.
In the afternoon I also have got a confirmation of a helpx host in La Paz. I asked for a stay of four weeks to improve my Spanish. I will help my host to improve her English as well as practical things. I am very happy about this opportunity.
The rest of the day I spent as usual, but transferring the text for the USA to this blog. By the way it was an expensive day. I had to pay 200 SEK for the doctor, 200 SEK for the x-ray and a little more than 200 SEK for the medicine. In addition to that I needed 80 SEK for public transport.
Thursday, 4th January 2018
It was a very grey day, not getting really daylight. Fortunately I have had so many bright days in Portugal, I can cope with the weather here. I did not have any appointment this day, but did not do a lot either. In the afternoon I started to update the photos for all of Canada and part of the USA on this blog. For the USA I started with the state of Washington, continued with Oregon and nearly finished California before midnight. Then I had to sleep. In addition to that I have got a new couchsurfing invitation for Tijuana, but I had to decline, because I already have a host there.
I also booked a refundable bus ticket for a Greyhound bus from LA to Tijuana. It was for 31 USD and 8 USD more expensive as the non refundable one with allowance of a big backpack. There is no longer a need to print the ticket, but I will in case of the wi-fi is not working.
Friday, 5th January 2018
I was up earlier than the day before, even it was not really early. I had breakfast and made my dishes. Afterwards I was on the Internet checking if it anyway is possible to go by plane from LAX to Tijuana, but there is no direct flight. The possible flights I found I first had to go somewhere else in the USA or Mexico and had twice the price I paid for the flight from Stockholm to LAX. The best option would have been to San Diego, but it was expensive and anyway still in the USA, though I really hope, the Americans will let me take the bus. I also hope, the flight company will accept my transfer visa waiver.
My son was calling in the afternoon – without any reason 😊. We talked about, that I may visit them at the weekend. It will be the last opportunity to see each other before I will travel Mexico. Furthermore I have got a reminder by sms from the dentist for monday, 8th Jan at 1:30pm. I was surprised and tried to call, but nobody was answering, though I will be there in time.
After my evening meal I continued updating the photos on my blog for the USA.
Saturday, 6th January 2018
It actually takes two whole hours to go by public transport from my home to my sons home. It may take a little less if I use the ferry, but have not tried that yet. So far I always have had a reason to got to Stockholm city and continue from there to my son. Nevertheless this day I did take the trip directly to my sons. We only have 90 minutes for one ride, that means to start the last part of it for one ticket even by our SL-card. When I left the underground and on the way to the bus I checked, if there were some minutes left. There were actually six minutes until the ride would expire. I looked for the bus stop, but unfortunately missed the bus. I still have seen the bus driving away, but at that point I did not no yet, that it was the bus stop I should have been. Though I could not make it anyway. Next time it maybe fits, because now I know, where the bus is going from.
I called my son and told him, that I have to wait for the next bus. There were still 25 minutes left. He told me, that he can pick me up, but it would take 10 to 15 minutes. We agreed on it. During the waiting time I entered a shop announcing three t-shirts for 100 SEK (10 EUR). I would like to see, which kind of t-shirts that were, but I did not find the t-shirts. Luckily I found an arithmetic book, I wished to buy anyway for my travel to keep track of my expenses. I found out, that it is not easy to do that with the tablet. Even there is an excel version for the tablet, it is hard to use and I also always need a back up, though I do not lose all the numbers I put in. Unfortunately I also bought some sweets. We have not had any sweets for Christmas as well for New Years Eve, though I was thinking I could buy these. My son came and when I was in the car, he told me, that it is a pizza day. Therefore he drove to a pizzeria. By the way his youngest son was with him. I was allowed to choose a pizza and he bought, of course, pizza for the others at home. For himself he chose a Thai dish, because this pizzeria had cross kitchen – all from kebab to pizza to Thai dishes.
We enjoyed our meal, but my son. He told us, that the Thai dish was no good taste. He did not eat all of it and took some pizza slices as well. The pizza had very thin bottom, but were very big. Actually it did not make full fast because of the thin bottom. Anyway I could not eat a whole one and my daughter in law did save the rest for later.
We had a nice afternoon and early evening. We also did play a parlor game. This time we had to find a diamond button. My son was winning all the three times we played it. I was twice the second one and once I lost totally. I was surprised and happy, that my grandchild Leon did not become angry, that he lost most of the time and never won. It was a new trait I have got to know of him.
I was going home by public transport again. Because of the long time it takes, I left around 7pm. I still had work to do at home, that means I am still working with my blog. There is still much to change. There were no problems with the public transport, but it was cold and I had to wait again for around half an hour for the bus. It never fits with the underground I catch. There are three lines in my direction, but one of them is not going so far as to Brommaplan. Anyway there is a train every five minutes I can catch, even in the evening. I do not understand, that I always just miss the bus.
Finally at home I was updating my blog until late, but suddenly became to tired to continue and had to go to sleep.
Sunday, 7th January 2018
I stayed at home the entire day and worked with my blog.
Monday, 8th January 2018
After breakfast I made a list, what to manage this day. It was a lot. I had to go with my recycling items to the respectively containers further down the road, had to pick up a parcel at a gas station, which also has a contract with the mail company and I had to go to the library in the centre of our little town for print outs. I have no printer at home, because I neither have the space for it nor do I need print outs so often, that it would be economical to buy one. In addition to that I had to buy milk and cream as well as I have to pick up my International Driver’s License (IDP) in Stockholm in the afternoon. I would like to go to “Ekerö bostäder” – a housing company, too, because I tried to sign up for the queue by Internet, but it was not working. Furthermore I thought, that I had to go to the dentist.
This day I have got a new reminder again by sms for the dentist at 1:30pm this day. You may understand, that I was surprised, when the assistant of the dentist rung and told me, that they have got another cancellation. One for the following day instead for the Wednesday and if I was interested in to come next day instead. I asked her about the sms reminder and she told me, it was not from them and that I should call the number, so I do not have to pay for it. I agreed to the new opportunity at the dentist close to me (the one I have had an appointment for Wednesday).
Afterwards i directly called the number in the sms and told them, that I am surprised about to get a reminder, when I have not got any appointment. This assistant told me, there must something went wrong and that she will take away the appointment. Though I should not get any bill of that dentist. I remember, that I checked that dentist online, when I tried to find one, who will help me with my bad tooth, but on their homepage it was announced, that he want to be back 8th January 2018. I could not wait for that. Therefore I never asked for an appointment.
As I wrote before, I had to pick up my IDP at “Motormännen” in Stockholm. Though I was going to town again, but was straight back again. I had checked, that all the classes were applied in the IDP, but did not check the other data. Actually it is the first time I have seen the “Swedish IDP”, the one the girl at my host in the town of Hudson Bay (Canada) had from Switzerland was looking different. That one also was in eleven languages, mine is only in 9 languages. At the “Motormännen” I asked, if the name etc should be written in the fields for every language, but he denied. I did not see, that the data was on the very last page, which by the way is in French. I have got a bill from the assistant, which I should pay from home. That did surprise me, because I thought I could pay with my credit card.
In the evening I checked the IDP one more time and became aware, that my address was wrong. There was written “Eksjö” instead of “Ekerö”. Eksjö, a small, beautiful town in “Jönköpings län” (another of the 21 Swedish counties) has a different post code, of course. The writer did not see that or maybe not check anything. I decided not to pay the bill because of the mistake, but call the next morning. I continued with my blog, which I had worked with off and on this day.
Tuesday. 9th January 2018
As I had decided the evening before, I did call the “Motormännen” and told them, that my address is incorrect at the IDP. The employee at the phone told me, that nobody will check it, though it does not matter. I was surprised about that answer, but could not make anything.
I was to the dentist in time, but had to wait, because there had been a power supply interruption in the centre of Ekerö. At home, there was not. Actually I did not need to wait for a long time. The dentist introduced himself and I did the same. I told him, that I do not like pain and asked for local anesthesia as well as I told him, that it always takes longer time as usual for me, before it is working. The dentist did set the anesthesia very well and was also waiting for, until it was working. Then he told me, that he just will shake the tooth a little and I have to tell him, if it hurts. It did not hurt and the tooth was gone, before I ever thought it. The dentist also made an artificial tooth for my bridge, which end would otherwise be in the area without any support. In addition to that, the dentist explained very well, that the wound after the tooth has to heal and it would take almost two month until he could put another kind of tooth in the hole. I asked him, if it is possible to wait for longer and he agreed. He even told me, that it would be good. All together did not take long time. All was over in some minutes and I was to the cashier to pay for me. When she told me the amount I had to pay I had to ask her one more time. I had understood her the first time, but was not expecting such a high amount. It was for a little more than 3,000 SEK (~300 EUR). It always sounds so much in Swedish Kronas. Anyway I told her, that I am happy, that I have a savings account and could pay for it. You have to understand, that a lot of pensioners do not have more than twice that amount/month for their living and has to pay there rent as well.
Happy about that the bad tooth was gone and the very competent dentist, I was continuing to “Ekerö bostäder”, which I have not been to the day before, because it is a little outside our town in an industrial area. I was walking all the way and it was a nice walk. I had help of Google maps for finding the way. Actually it was not hard to find. Well there, the assistant seemed to be surprised to get a visitor, but she opened at me immediately. I told her, that I would like to sign up for the queue to get an own apartment as soon as possible. I also told her, that I had tried by the homepage, but that it was not working. She told me, it was only by the Internet it could be done, but asked me to come into her office and did start her PC to help me that way. She did put in all my personal data and told me meanwhile, that the form is only working properly in Internet Explorer and that she is unhappy about it. Though she had told the company, who helps them with the site to make it possible to work correctly in other browsers, too. She also set a password, which she wrote down for me, that I could change it later. It was done in a few minutes, meanwhile I also had the possibility to tell her about my situation. She was sorry, that I have to queue like others, but she could not make an exception and the company actually does not have any available apartments, but new apartments will be built.
On my way back to the centre of Ekerö a woman with a child asked me for the directions to Ekerö bostäder. I was happy, that I could help her. I continued and was to the supermarket. I had to look for tape as well as I need a new nail clipper, my old one broke some days ago. When I left the supermarket I had bought much more, because I was thinking about, that I need some more food before I leave on Friday.
I took the bus home from the centre. I thought I have had enough of exercise as well as I do not like to walk upwards. Anyway I did not wait for the route, which is going to my closets bus stop, because I was not willing to wait for 10 minutes in the cold.
At home I had a meal and a chat with Jessica by WhatsApp. She told me, that her flight to Austria will be on Friday, where she will work with tourism and that her boyfriend is moving into her room. Afterwards I used my laptop for some files before I continued with my blog. I had to write about the last few days. The photos have to wait. Meanwhile I was updating, the door bell rang. A grandchild to my landlady told me, that he had opened the door between his grandma’s and my apartment. I checked it and he told his grandma by phone that all is OK. I was happy, that I no longer had to think about, how it will work with my laundry.
Around 11:30pm the wi-fi connection broke for my laptop. How I tried, I could not re-connect. Fortunately there is always an autosave by WordPress as well as the wi-fi was still working on my tablet. Though I could finish my update. Anyway there was no chance to upload photos. I hope the laptop as well as the wi-fi will work properly the upcoming day. I ended the day by transferring music from my laptop to my smartphone.
Friday 10th – Saturday 11th January 2018
I was short of time. I would have liked to update my blog for places I have been before, but I could not make it. I just get done the most elementary for my travel.
Sunday 12th January 2018
Please follow the link for “Baja California” and scroll down to the 12th January. There you can read about my Odyssey for entering Mexico.
For December 2018 please follow the link.